Singapore is hot and humid all year round, making it a joy to visit whatever you’re planning to do. But still, it’s a good idea to always carry a small, portable umbrella for those sudden tropical downpours, especially during the monsoon season (November to January).
Hotel prices fluctuate as much as the weather, so aside from a number of premier events like Formula One – where you’ll be battling for a room – you should get to stay where you want to. June and July, the hottest (and haziest) time, is also when the school holidays start.
Here’s our guide to help you decide the best time to visit Singapore.
High season: June-July and February
Best time for shopping
June and July is Singapore at its most hectic. The schools are out and the shopping sale season begins, so start sharpening your elbows.
In February, many of the local markets and shops will shut for at least a week during the Chinese New Year, but the major malls and tourist areas will remain open. Entertainment attractions, though, will be nose-to-neck busy.
Shoulder season: December-January & March-May
Best time to visit Singapore
Although December and January can hardly be described a cold, they are (on paper at least) the coolest months of the year in Singapore as temperatures plummet to a nowhere-near-freezing 75°F (24°C), making things a more bearable for wanders and walkers.
From March, the northeast monsoon peters out and temperatures slowly climbing through until May, before the sun sizzles. Both of these shoulder seasons will allow visitors to see the best of Singapore but with fewer crowds.
Low season: August-November
Best time for culture
Aside from the Formula One bunfight in September, these months are when a post-school holiday Singapore starts to prep for November’s monsoon season with infrequent, but soaking showers.
It’s also when some of the country’s major cultural gatherings take place, including Singapore National Day, Hungry Ghost Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival, which all offer a different perspective on this fascinating country.
Although January is known as the coolest month in Singapore, there’s no need to pack your winter woolies; temperatures will rarely ever dip lower than 24°C.
Key events: St Jerome’s Laneway Festival; Art Stage Singapore; Singapore Fringe Festival.
The Chinese New Year holiday period sees many of the local markets and shops shut for at least a week, however major shopping malls and tourist areas remain open. Entertainment attractions are also horrendously busy at this time.
Key events: Chinese New Year; Thaipusam; Chingay.
The northeast monsoon peters out and the mercury starts rising.
Key events: Boutique Fairs; World Gourmet Summit.
Temperatures continue to rise in April, however, fairly predictable afternoon thunderstorms cool things down. Don’t be concerned if Easter falls in April – most shops and attractions will continue to operate as normal.
Key events: Affordable Art Fair; Rugby Sevens; Singapore International Jazz Festival
It’s the quiet month leading towards the peak of the ‘summer’ heat and the busy school holidays. A good time to visit Singapore.
Key events: Vesak Day; Singapore International Festival of Arts.
School holidays coupled with blockbuster sales equal big crowds. It’s one of the hottest months on the calendar, so get ready to sweat.
Key events: Great Singapore Sale; Dragon Boat Festival; Hari Raya Puasa.
The dry months continue, and so do the school holidays.
Key events: Singapore Food Festival; Pink Dot.
School holidays are over (finally) and prolonged rain is rare.
Key events: Singapore National Day; Hungry Ghost Festival; Beerfest Asia; Singapore Night Festival.
While the Formula One night race is the hottest ticket on the annual calendar, it does mean that local hotels jack up prices. Beds are hard to find, especially in the Colonial District where the action happens.
Key events: Formula One Grand Prix; Mid-Autumn Festival; Navarathiri.
October is an inter-monsoon period. Thunderstorms are frequent but extreme weather is rare.
Key events: Deepavali; Thimithi.
The start of the rainy monsoon season. You’ll need an umbrella to avoid getting drenched, though the weather is mercifully cool.
Key events: Singapore International Film Festival.
A sense of festivity (and monsoon rains) permeates the air as the year winds down.
Key events: ZoukOut; Christmas.